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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE  LIGHTHOUSE

[Here   Mr.   Carmichael,   who   was   reading
Virgil, blew out his candle.   It was past midnight.]

But what after all is one night? A short space,
especially when the darkness dims so soon, and
so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green
quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the
wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The
winter holds a pack of them in store and deals
them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers.
They lengthen; they darken. Some of them
hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The
autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the
flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool
cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages
describe death in battle and how bones bleach and
burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees
gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of
harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy
of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the
wave lapping blue to the shore.

It seemed now as if, touched by human
penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had
parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single,
distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat
rocking, which, did we deserve them, should be
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